|THE MORNING WATCHCHILDREN OF MENVFX ARTISTSJOKERVFX|
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, run through a bunch of Easter eggs referencing Star Trek: The Next Generation and more in the first season of Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. Plus, take a look back at the 90s action sitcom Big Bad Beetleborgs that tried to capitalize on the success of Power Rangers, and learn how to draw the reindeer sidekick Sven from Disney’s Frozen.
First up, Wired runs through the entire first season of Star Trek: Picard and breaks down some of the shows Easter eggs. For example, you might have spotted the Captain Picard Day sign made by kids in Star Trek: The Next Generation, picked up on various references to The Gorn, or noticed the new use of Vasquez Rocks. Find out all about that more in the above video.
There have been countless iterations of Power Rangers, each one bringing a different iteration of Super Sentai to the United States. But Syfy Wire reminds us of Big Bad Beetleborgs, which adapted combat footage from the Metal Hero tokusatsu-series Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto, but put more of an emphasis on sitcom elements instead of monster-fighting action.
Finally, if you need to distract the kids, or you just want to take the time to try out a drawing challenge for yourself, this video has Frozen 2 animation supervisor Michael Woodside literally illustrate how to draw the loveable Sven from Frozen. Can you pull off all the right angles and curves to draw like a Disney animator? Could you do it hundreds of times to make an animated image?
While the VFX industry has shifted rapidly to remote access during the global pandemic to keep content pipelines churning, thousands of practitioners have been forced to remain in their offices, putting themselves at risk. That's because of pre-existing non-disclosure agreements NDAs designed to protect intellectual property. As of Monday, though, nearly 10,000 VFX artists have banded together in support of working remotely, signing an online petition to the Motion Picture Association of America MPAA, launched by Mario Rokicki, a color supervisor at Double Negative in Vancouver.
“The NDAs that are forced on VFX Studios put artists and [staff] at [their] peril,” wrote Rokicki. “What was [a] minor inconvenience before is the major life risk situation with Coronavirus outbreak. VFX houses have or can quickly deploy secure technology solutions to allow work from home on the projects that with the magnitude of the pandemic will probably be delayed. All I ask is to put aside often legal misguided IP protection measures and harsh NDAs and allow tens of thousands of dedicated artists to work from home and prevent total VFX studios shutdown and layoffs.”
In response, the Visual Effects Society VES lent its support through the following statement on Monday: “The Visual Effects Society wants to encourage all employers — large or small — to grant permission for their employees to work remotely during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the concerns around security to protect proprietary work product, but right now is the time for the utmost flexibility towards VFX artists and all practitioners as we try to figure our way through this crisis. Many companies are trying to take action, and we are optimistic that studios and vendors can find and enact workable solutions.”
Nicole Dove / © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Additionally, the VES Technology Committee issued a series of best practices guidelines for working from home, culled from studios, vendors, and facilities. These cover secure remote desktop solutions, band comparisons, cloud solutions, and, most important, secure file transfer solutions.
Indeed, security file transfer solutions remain the biggest concern for allowing employees to work at home, while the high cost of remote software makes it difficult for contract artists to do the same. However, some staffing is required at studios and smaller companies to keep the IT going and to move files. “Most of the studios have been amenable to it, in concept, but some companies have not been able to sort out how to let artists work from home because of the security aspects of it,” said Mike Chambers, visual effects producer Christopher Nolan's...
Following a piece of excellent fan art depicting actor and Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp as Batman villain the Joker, filmmaker Kevin Smith has now chimed in stating that he is very keen to see Depp take on the role in the upcoming DC movie, The Batman.
Kevin Smith remains a pretty well-respected authority on all things Batman, and while speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, he addressed the rumor that Johnny Depp is currently in talks to take on another role featuring garish make-up and hair, the Joker, in director Matt Reeves' upcoming comic book caper.
Smith declared that Johnny Depp would be 'f-cking perfect' for the role of the Clown Prince of Crime, but did downplay the possibility that the character would even be appearing in the movie as there has been no mention of this until now. He did point out though that it would certainly be a lot of fun should Depp land the part, whether that be for this movie or any future sequels.
There have been rumors circulating for the last few weeks that Johnny Depp could be poised to join the cast of The Batman as arch-enemy the Joker, with recent fanart depicting perfectly what he could end up looking like, and why this could well be a great casting choice. Depp is considered to be one of the more popular faces in Hollywood, and as of 2018 was the third-highest-grossing actor in the world thanks to roles in franchises such as Pirares of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland and the Fantastic Beasts series.
There is no doubt that Johnny Depp could do well in the role, with the actor having a particular affinity for off-the-wall characters who usually disguise his leading-man looks under masks and make-up. The actor has also proven time and again his talent for more grounded drama in movies like Donnie Brasco, demonstrating that Depp easily has the ability to carry-off both competing parts of the character.
Of course, the role of the Joker continues to be one that is coveted by actors in Hollywood, with Heath Ledger having won a posthumous Academy Award for his performance in 2008's The Dark Knight, while Joaquin Phoenix swept up during last awards season for his spell-binding portrayal of the character in director Todd Phillips' Joker.
As to whether the character will show up in The Batman, this seems very unlikely due to the number of villains that the movie already plans to introduce. Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader already has to contend with Zoe Kravtiz's Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Colin Farrel as The Penguin, not to mention all of Gotham's gangsters which includes John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.
For the time being, Warner Bros. has put the production of The Batman on hold due to growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The production was due to be moved from London to Liverpool, but the studio confirmed recently that work will stop in order to promote the safety of the cast and crew.
In a time of rolling shutdowns and release date cancellations as the coronavirus rampages through Hollywood productions, a surprising bit of good news is emanating from the Marvel universe as signs indicate that The Eternals is still on track for its November 6, 2020 release date. In a statement to its Twitter followers, Scanline VFX has announced that every single one of its employees is now working from home, which will allow the studio to maintain progress on its current projects, which include Marvel’s newest superhero ensemble:
As of Monday, all 650 of Scanline’s crew across Los Angeles, Vancouver, Montreal, London, Munich, Stuttgart and Seoul studios are working successfully from home, transforming Scanline into a completely remote visual effects studio for the time being. From now on, not a single employee needs to set foot into a physical office location, making us independent of local government restrictions and lockdowns while providing a safe and healthy working environment for all crew.
As we move into the weeks and months ahead, we are here to support our clients and the wider VFX community. Shows in the pipeline will continue as normal but we are also open for new projects and can expand our home setup capacity as needed.
You can read the full statement from Scanline VFX below:
— Scanline VFX @Scanline_VFX March 24, 2020The announcement arrives on the heels of concerns that pulling Black Widow‘s release date could push The Eternals into 2021. However, sources inside Marvel have said that there will be no effect on the current MCU timeline, and it certainly appears that work on The Eternals is still moving head as planned despite the coronavirus grinding many projects to a halt. In fact, at the current rate, The Eternals could be the first major studio to hold its release date once the dust finally settles on the global pandemic.
Via CBR, Scanline VFX on Twitter